The age of never-ending internet chats
The Atlantic - 03/11/2015
Yet if in this instance I confused conversation with action, I can name dozens more times when online exchanges have helped me be brave. Often Phoebe and I message each other just before we’re about to do something scary. We give each other the nudge we need to swing from contemplation into deed, to buy a plane ticket to a faraway place or ask for a raise. Knowing that I can depend on a friend’s trusty digital presence helps me forge ahead where I might otherwise stay in a holding pattern.
This is one of the biggest advantages to digital communication, according to Brooke Foucault Welles, a communications professor at Northeastern University who specializes in studying social networks. “People who perceive themselves as having more social support generally adjust quicker to new situations,” she said. “Just being awake to that as a possibility is adaptive.”